I’m reading Thrive by Arianna Huffington. although I’m only in the first chapter, the book resonates so deeply with me.
I worked in surgery (the operating room) for many years. It was the only thing I ever wanted to do while I was in nursing school. I was able to see some amazing things and the phenomenal craftsmanship of the human bound still leaves me in awe, but the culture behind the work immediately struck a wrong cord within me.
In the beginning, I didn’t understand why the place where I desired to work for so long would leave me feeling overwhelmed, less than confident & waiting for a sense of breakthrough. I anticipated that after some time, I would come to feel at ease and thrive in this space that I longed to work in. I thought that I had to invest more time and energy and gain more wisdom and experience in order to truly obtain the sense of belonging that others seem to have.
So I worked every shift. Five eights. Four tens. Three twelves. Morning. Afternoon. Night. Full time. Part time. You name it. I tried it.
Amazingly, nothing ever did the trick. I left work every day feeling the physical, and often, mental and emotional effects of this high intensity and at times, high stress job. And I never fully enjoyed it.
I didn’t want to work holidays simply because I was one of the newest employees. Being with my family was so much more important to me. I didn’t want to work overtime, hoping that someone would notice and promote me to a higher position. I already gave my all during my regular shift. I didn’t want to underperform because I was exhausted or under appreciated in a culture that dictated a hierarchy impenetrable by my profession. I didn’t want to be so stressed that I couldn’t think straight, jeopardizing my livelihood, and more importantly, my patients. I wanted to do work that I loved and be appreciated for it. Simple.
So my focus shifted.
Instead of trying to inexhaustibly learn every surgery or surgeon preference, I focused on giving the highest quality care and attention to my patients. I began my path in education because I wanted to help others feel confident and have all the information needed to make wise decisions for their life, career path, and ultimately, to make the best decisions for their patients.
I encountered a few situations in which it was made clear that everyone was replaceable. Even those with years of experience and expertise. And at that point, my career underwhelmed me. I couldn’t understand how I was expected to give my all in a situation in which my value was neither understood of appreciated.
Thankfully holistic nursing kept me interested in my profession, but it was clearly time for me to move on from the role I was in. I’m so glad I did.
Now I’m fueled to help others thrive in every aspect of their lives. Whether you’re trying to improve your health or start a business, I get excited for those who say, there’s another way; there’s a better way for me and my life. Because sometimes living a healthier lifestyle means leaving what was once your dream job and pursuing a path that feels right in your soul.
It is time to change this culture of more stress to achieve success. It’s time to take back our lives, our health & our happiness. It’s time to thrive.